Healthcare Chaplaincy Course

Free Church Healthcare Chaplains Study Day

Photo by  Nicole Honeywill

Date: Thursday 8th November 2018, 11:00-16:15

Venue: Free Churches House, 27 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9HH

Free Church Health Care Chaplains are invited to join the study day at Free Churches House on 8th November 2018.

What to Expect

Photo by  Tim Marshall

Photo by Tim Marshall

The day will include the update information of the Healthcare Chaplaincy, Mental Health First Aid Course (Limited for 16 participants at the cost of £15 for the course materials), the update on Community Chaplaincy and a Prayer Walk. Lunch and refreshments will be provided on the day.


10:30 am Coffee/Tea

11:00 am Welcome

11.05 am Opening Worship

11-15 am Update on National Picture, Regional Meetings and ‘What’s on your agenda?’

12:00 pm Mental Health First Aid Course for up to 16 participants (£15 for the course materials)


Update on Community Chaplaincy

A Prayer walk

4.15 pm Closing remark

I would be very grateful if you could return the completed booking form at your earliest convenience. The booking form is available here. For more information and booking, please contact Thandar at 02036518338 or email at

We look forward to seeing you on 8th November.

Debbie Hodge

Secretary for Healthcare Chaplaincy, Free Churches Group

This information is available to download here.

Engaging with the Issues

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A series of Round Table Discussions on topics that are engaging the hearts and minds of the Community, the churches, local and national government at Free Church House, 27 Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9HH.


Spiritual Care in Community Health Care Settings – Community Chaplaincy

Thursday 4th October 2018 & Tuesday 5th February 2019    

For those who connected with a faith community there is both social and spiritual support. For those who aren’t where is their spiritual support in times of health care crisis? This day will be based on the shared experience of individuals working in Community Health Care Chaplaincy and will enable participants to build their plan to make a difference in their community.

Dementia – caring for the carers as well as those who have dementia

Wednesday 3rd April 2019

The rate of increase in the incidence of dementia means that everyone knows someone who has dementia or who is caring for someone with dementia. This day will enable churches and individuals to learn from others in looking at opportunities to these needs in the local community.

Dying Matters

Thursday 29th November 2018

It’s a certainty – we will all die. This day will enable participants to explore the contemporary aspects of death and dying and look at ways to provide safe spaces when matter of death and dying may be explored. Ways of meeting the spiritual needs of those who are dying and their families will also be discussed.

Each day will begin with coffee/ tea and registration at 10.30 with a formal start at 11am and finish at approx. 3.30pm, lunch and refreshments will be provided.

The cost is £10 for each day and you are advised to book early as places are limited.

Please contact Thandar Tun ( with any questions.

This information is accessible to download here.

To book please complete and return the booking form.

Christmas Greetings to you all


It’s that time of the year when we begin to reflect on a year gone by, to look forward to remembering the events in Bethlehem a long time ago and onwards to a new year.

It’s been a busy year in the Chaplaincy world. The Chaplaincy Leadership Forum and the Network for Pastoral, Spiritual and Religious care have formed a new group - Healthcare Chaplaincy Forum for Pastoral, Spiritual and Religious Care launched on December 1st 2017.

The new procurement system for NHS Chaplaincy Project funding has been changed, and tested – now we await the outcome of the bidding process. Once known the work streams for the next 2 years will be announced. This we hope to do before Christmas.

Changes are ever present and on the committees we have some vacancies. The Free Churches Group needs to recruit the following –

·         A Free Church Chaplain to join the Network for Pastoral, Spiritual and Religious Care in Health (The faith and Belief Group). The Network meets 3 – 4 times a year in London, and the nominated individual has the responsibility of bring news and concerns, ideas and proposals from their sending faith community and sharing the work of the Network back into the sending community.

·         A Free Church Chaplain to share in the work of the Health Care Chaplaincy Steering Committee that has responsibility to promote Chaplaincy from a Free Church perspective, support Free Church Chaplains and support the work of the Secretary for Free Church Chaplaincy. This group meets twice a year face to face with audio calls as necessary.

Do get in touch if you would like to explore these opportunities further.

Another key change is in my working pattern. From January 1st I will be working half time. I have some interesting opportunities I want to follow up and to enjoy both my work and these new things I need to make space in the diary. To facilitate this change the Free Churches Group have engaged Red Meg Burton to cover the ‘other half’ of the week – although in reality we will be job sharing and ensuring that all work is covered. Some of you will know Meg already, and I am sure you will make her feel welcome and benefit from her knowledge and expertise especially in End of Life Care.

Over the past few weeks I have been reminded about the challenges to individuals and their families and friends when serious illness strikes, particularly at this time of the year, and was minded to write the following:-

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Holy Child of Bethlehem, you started your earthly life in a borrowed manger,

Your arrival noted by the isolated and the weary.

Yet with your arrival the world was opened to new possibilities of hope, love and peace.

This Christmas we pray for those who are sick, at home or in hospital,

those whose pain cannot be seen,

those who fear the night and those for whom  the day is too long.

Let us also pray for  those who will care in homes and in hospital,  those who will acknowledge the pain that cannot be seen,

 those who will share the dark of the night and the  length of the day.

May they all be reminded of the gift of hope, love and peace that came down at Christmas.

And for those of us who are well enough to share time with friends and family, let us be thankful, mindful of the needs of others and willing to play our part to share Gods love. Amen.                                                                                                                   

May you all be richly blessed this Christmas time,


December 2017

This Christmas Newsletter 2017 is available to download here. 

‘Learning from deaths’ – guidance development day for NHS trusts


Thursday 2 November, 10.00am - 4.30pm – Kia Oval, London

NHS England is holding an event in November 2017, which may be of interest to staff working in chaplaincy services in trusts across England. It will be of particular interest to chaplaincy staff who have supported families and carers who have lost a loved one in NHS commissioned care, whose death has been subject to a review or investigation.

The event is part of the Learning from Deaths’ programme, which was established to ensure that the recommendations contained in the CQC’s ‘Learning, candour and accountability’ report are implemented in a clear and structured way. 

The event is one of two that will inform the co-production of new guidance for trusts to improve engagement with families and carers, so that they know what to expect from the investigation process. The aim of the guidance will be to ensure timely, transparent and compassionate contact with families and carers who’ve lost loved ones in NHS commissioned care.

The event, on 2 November, will primarily involve people working in trusts who are involved in the investigation process and supporting families/carers in these circumstances - some family members and carers with lived experience will also be present.  The day will focus on the key issues already identified in the CQC report. It will also highlight feedback from families and carers gathered at an event held on 1 November. It will examine what good practice should look like; how we can embed it across NHS Trusts; and what support and/or training would be needed.

If you would like more information about the event for staff working in trusts or to sign up for a place please go to the NHS England website or email

Reflection from the Free Church End of Life Care Workshop

On July 17th, 20 people from member denominations of the Free Churches Group shared in a workshop on ‘Dying Matters’. Presentations were made by Claire Henry, Revd Debbie Hodge and Revd Meg Burton. Individuals left with personal commitments to make a difference in their community, be that a local church or other place of work and ministry.

Revd Robert Maloney, Minister in Rugby and Brinklow URC Church and Chairman for the Bilton House Christian Care Home, said “This workshop was both highly informative and very usefully interactive. The Dying Matters Conversation was well presented by Claire Henry who facilitated dialogue with those present to help us engage with local churches and communities in issues of death and dying. The practical measures, which can be addressed in advance to ensure that the dying person's wishes are known and acted upon, were explored in helpful ways also with respect to aspects of spirituality for those receiving palliative care in the community. Both Debbie Hodge and Meg Burton used thought provoking case studies in their interactive presentations to enable us to more fully understand how churches are in a prime position to extend their pastoral care into a wider community setting of Dying Matters and palliative care. I came away from the workshop inspired to see how both as a Minister and a Care Home Service Provider I might enthuse my local context to see how they might be willing and able to engage more spiritually in the wider ministry of Palliative Care and Dying Matters within society.”

Photograph used by kind permission of Miss May Pearl Tun, King's College Hospital.